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Friends, meet Alan.

Alan is on the far right.
Alan is on the far right.

He is 16 years old.  Alan has been coming to the youth group and hanging out with our family for about a year now.  (Madeline thinks Alan is her best friend.)

One of the things I admire about Alan is his willingness to try new things; he’s brave.  You see, since Alan has been hanging out with us, he’s done the following things for the very first time:

  • Been to a concert of ANY kind
  • Spent a night away from home/family
  • Been out of the state of Alabama (we live roughly 30 minutes from Tennessee and 45 from Georgia)
  • Been to an indoor pool
  • Played Marco Polo
  • Played disc golf
  • Played pool
  • Played air hockey
  • Been to Chuck E. Cheese
  • Been to a driving range
  • Tied a tie
  • Been geocaching
  • Prayed out loud (in front of another person)
  • Memorized a Bible verse
  • Eaten an omlette
  • Eaten stuffed pasta shells
  • Eaten taco soup
  • Made and eaten a homemade milkshake
  • Been to Bridge Street (a mall across town)

When it came to our attention that Alan was 16 years old and had never tried or done any of these things, it became a game of sorts. What can we introduce Alan to?  What can we make him do?  His comfort zone is constantly being challenged and stretched, and he always rises to the occasion.  Is there anything he won’t try?

So here is a list of some more things that Alan has never done, which we plan on tackling one at a time.

Alan has never:

  • been bowling  (WHAT!?!)
  • been camping
  • been on a boat/canoe/plane/train
  • been to the beach/ocean  (WHAT!?!?)
  • ridden a roller coaster
  • been putt-putt golfing
  • tried sushi
  • done the electric slide (or the cupid shuffle)
  • played monopoly
  • played poker (or Uno)
  • baked a cake (cooked or baked anything)
  • ridden a horse
  • fired a gun
  • changed a tire (or oil)

Can you even believe that!?!?  (I hope you’re feeling blessed right now.)  I’ve written all of this at Dan’s urging and with Alan’s permission – and now the three of us want to hear from you!

What things do you think everyone should do at least once?  What life-enriching things does Alan just HAVE to do? I’m not talking about life list kind of stuff; there are a lot of people who have never been skydiving.  But what should every 16-year-old guy have done in life?  What would you like to see him try?  Please, share!

We’ve had a lot of fun getting to know Alan; he’s a great guy.  This whole experience has reminded us how worthwhile it is to be secure enough in yourself (and to be thirsty enough for life) to try new things.  To be ever-stretching and growing.

God is good; life is good.  Seize the day!

  • Annie

    Oh my!  Wow!  What about feed the ducks?
    Build a fort… even if it’s the old blankets and clothes-line kind (or couch cushions, dining table and blankets, etc)
    Attend a Minor (or Major) League Baseball game, or any other professional sport I guess,
    Sleep under the stars,
    Watch the Sound of Music, and Mary Poppins, And something with Cary Grant, something by Alfred Hitchcock, Anything (within reason) in Black and White.

    My husband says use tools and Build Something!

    There are several things on your list that I have never done!  I guess I’ll have to work on that!

    • Kate Conner

      I like your movie suggestions – and your husband’s idea!  Hmmm, we DO need a new frame for Madeline’s bed….:)

  • Meg Collins

    Be at the bottom of a large dog pile. Change a tire. Go to a late late movie, just because you can. Jump out of a swing. Make a mentos-soda-explosion. Go snipe hunting. Jump a ramp on a bicycle. Go sledding. Catch a fish. 

    …For the record, I love this post. I want to meet Alan when I’m there in the fall. :)

    • Kate Conner

      SNIPE HUNTING.  I am so excited to be able to enrich his life in such a way. 

      • Meg Collins

        I’m convinced that everyone needs to go snipe hunting at least once in their life. They’re tricky little buggers to find. ;)

  • Aliesha

    have a water battle (super soakers, water balloons, the works). go fishing. peel potatoes for mashed potatoes. change a baby’s diaper! tie-dye a t-shirt. make s’mores. run through a sprinkler. plant something and watch it grow.

    • Kate Conner

      Aliesha, I know for a fact that Alan has never eaten s’mores – that one is near the top of our list now!  Tie-dying is a great idea, too!

  • Tadburt

    Go to a dress up restaurant
    Go to a bagel shop
    Learn to brew a really good pot of coffee
    Have servers sing happy birthday to him at a restaurant
    Eat fondue
    drive a go kart
    Go to a drive in movie

    • Kate Conner

      A dress up restaurant is a great idea – what an experience!  As far as the ”happy birthday,”  the embarrassment might ACTUALLY stop his heart.  We could couple that with his “first ride in an ambulance!” 

  • Sabrena Deal

    Slice an onion
    Ice a cake with only your hands
    Visit Ikea
    Prank call someone
    TP a friend’s car/house/room/cubicle
    I may come back with some more :)

  • JoyceCourtney

    Swing off of a high “rope swing” into a lake or river.  (high enough to give you a wedgie, as you hit the water!)